Charities to link up with GP consortia

Charities plan to use increased localism in the NHS to bolster patient involvement in decisions about services.

Asthma UK said it was 'vital' for GP consortia to involve patients in designing care and that charities can help link patients with commissioners.

Diabetes UK is working on an initiative called Diabetes Voices to increase patient involvement in health decisions.

A spokesman for Arthritis Care said the NHS reforms meant it was 'more important than ever' that patients made their voices heard locally.

Diabetes UK chief executive Baroness Barbara Young said: 'We want to make sure that supported volunteers who know what they are talking about and are confident talking in decision-making and advisory fora are there with a diabetes voice.'

Diabetes UK is working on an online system to provide real-time information on local care. 'We'll be shining bright lights on good services and poor ones,' Baroness Young said.

Asthma UK chief executive Neil Churchill said there was 'a real opportunity' for charities to provide links between patients and commissioners.

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